To The Windy City I Shall Go…

And it’s time!!! Holy cow, I can’t believe it’s time!

Tomorrow, I will be in Chicago getting ready for 26.2!!!! It’s crazy!!! I’m beyond excited and really, I feel good.

I feel like this training has been the best of the 4 that I’ve done. I’ve felt strong after each long run, have gone the entire way injury free (thank you sweet baby Jesus), and am the most confident I’ve ever been going into a marathon.

People have asked me about goals. Yeah, I got ’em. And if you’ve been a reader for a while, then you already know what it is.

I’ve always been a conservative runner. Maybe to a fault. Some say, I’m overly realistic. Too cautious. Okay, a scaredy cat.

Whatevs.

But yeah, my goals are always goals that are the perfect amount of tough–I still have to work hard for it as in they’re not easily attainable, but they’re still definitely doable. It’s just the type of person I am. I like challenging myself, but not to the point where I don’t give myself a decent shot.

So I’d like to get a sub 4:30. My PR is 4:44–set back in February of 2014, my very 1st marathon run 7 months after having my second baby in two years.

Am I a better runner than I was then? It was less than two years ago and I’ve run one marathon since then (trained for two but yeah, Phoenix DNF) but I’d like to think I am, and I feel like I’m stronger. Could I possibly run faster than 4:30?

Sure, probably.

But that’s my goal.

If all the stars were to align, if I woke up Sunday morning deciding to throw caution to the wind, if I said, Helly–go balls out and see what happens, then a 4:15 would make me ridiculously happy.

A 4:15 would mean a 9:45ish pace. A pace that normally I’d feel would be totally doable. But 26.2 miles is no joke. And if I’m to be frank, yeah, I’m scared.

This is something I need to work on if I want to improve as a runner. I know I gotta take risks sometimes. My charity coach, after working with me this training and coming to know my conservativeness with goals, told me, “Helly, to achieve a goal you gotta be afraid to fail, and fail big”.

That’s so hard.

I don’t know why, but something about getting a sub 4:30 I feel would make it easier for me to take more risks–but only after I meet that goal. Right now, it’s the perfect amount of difficult–a time that seems hard to reach but one that if I try my hardest, I can achieve. I don’t know, I just feel I gotta get that under my belt first, before attempting something faster.

I’ve read/seen others make vast improvements on their times, runners who had similar marathon PRs as me and then jumped to 4 hours or very close to. But making, or attempting to make, such a big time jump is so daunting to me.

I think I like baby steps???

Anyway, that’s my goal and I’m sticking to it. I’ve also learned from Phoenix Marathon that the ultimate goal is finishing, so beyond that 4:30, I really just want to cross the finish line — That would be enough to make me happy. 🙂

 

I can’t express enough how thankful I am for all of your support throughout my training. You guys stuck with me through my intense heat and crazy early morning runs. I have so much motivation–my charity and donors, my blogging buddies, my friends, and my family. All of you are going to carry me through, I just know it! See ya at the finish line!

❤ , helly

Eagle_variant

–Are you a risk taker? Or are you an over-thinker, cautious runner like I am?

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 17 Recap

And that’s a wrap!!! Got in my last long run of the training cycle and the grand finale of long runs is this upcoming Sunday!!! Eeeep!!!

It has been an unusual taper for me as I’ve had two races and a mini vacation in the midst of it.

Week 16 I was in Canada and registered 18.28 total miles that included a Night Race 10k and a mountain climb. September had me at 105.78 miles.

This past week, Week 17, was the first time in the entire training cycle I’d only run 3 days, but I somehow was okay with that.

On Wednesday, I met up with my run club and did easy 3 one mile repeats. I had a race the next day (even though I wasn’t going to race it, race it). I wanted to still make it a good workout though, so I went for a negative split and got it– 9:23, 9:12, 8:49.

Thursday was the Esprit de She 10k, and a couple of friends and I had decided to just enjoy it and not make it competitive. This was all fine by me as I had “raced” a 10k the week before and wanted to not attempt to be speedy on my last taper week. We finished in 1:03:27. It actually was great running this easy because it had been a super long day at work for all of us and it was 100 degrees at the start time!!! This was a night race (7 p.m.).

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Me and two of my running buds ❤

Friday was my usual rest day and Saturday….guess what???

I started my run at 6 a.m. like a normal human being!!!!

Seriously though. My alarm went off at 5:30 and it was like I had slept in–(which I had, I wake up early than that during the work week, lol!).

It was amazing weather, even chilly! I know, I’m crazy to say that 64* is chilly but it was the perfect temp for a morning run.

I started off running with a friend who I don’t get to run with often. We’re different paces–but that morning, I was excited to catch up with her, and we spent the first 4 miles talking life.

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The next 4 miles I ran with my run club’s coach and somehow, between the chatter, we managed to negative split miles 5-8.

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It was exactly how I would’ve wanted to end my final long run–strong, and feeling good the whole way. Week 17 ended with 17.2 miles 🙂

This next week is all about calming the taper jitters!! I’ll post again before I leave for Chicago on Saturday–Thank you guys SO much for following my journey; it’s almost time!!! XOXO!!!

❤ , helly

–Is 64* degrees chilly for you? jaja!! How’s the weather where you’re at? What is the perfect temperature for a run?

–How was your September? October is my favorite month–what’s yours?

 

 

 

Grouse Grind Mountain Climb! {Recap}

So Saturday, the day after the Night Run Vancouver 10k, I should actually say, the morning after the Night Run Vancouver 10k–we woke up, bright and early, to climb Vancouver’s most famous mountain!


The Grouse Grind® is a 2.9-kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain, commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”

This trail is very challenging. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of mountaintop trails that might better suit the average hiker.


Trail Facts

Length
: 2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830
Average Time: On average, it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.
Source

Mother Nature’s Stairmaster. How could you NOT want to do that, right???
As I’d mentioned in my race recap, it was cold in Vancouver (for me) and I purchased a very expensive hoodie as I’d come unprepared to climb up a mountain in what seemed to me freezing temps, lol.
sign
We started the climb and right away, started going UP. The stairs seriously seemed never ending.
climb
When we climbed Mt. Humphrey’s, Arizona’s highest peak, there were landings where we’d often rest. Not with Grouse Mountain. There were just stairs going up and up and up. Occasionally, I’d just pull off to the side and let people pass.
The trail of steps are narrow, so they’ve made it a one way trip. People can only go up and then you have to take the Sky Lift to come back down.
This actually made me feel better because it wasn’t far into the climb that I started to ask, Are we there yet?
Up and up and up
fog
It took us almost exactly an hour and a half! There was this cafe type building at the top of the mountain where one could eat and buy souvenirs. We rested, snacked, and then decided to get back down as quickly as we could.
On the Sky Lift, we had amazing views of what we’d just climbed. It was actually really cool to see as there had been quite a bit of fog on our climb up that we hadn’t really seen any views.
skylift
view
It was a perfect morning hike, tough, but we were glad we were able to cross off Grouse Grind on our list!
I hope everyone has a great weekend!!! Happy October!!! 😀
❤ , helly
–Are you a fan of the stair master?
–Have you thought of your Halloween costume yet?